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I am writing this diary and addressing it to young black men and women.  It may be hard to understand that the whites on this site don't have to write open letters to other whites because,well, because most of the people on this site are white. I am not excluding whites I am focusing on young blacks. White folk don't have to consider what it feels like to be white unless they are in a room with all blacks.  Just as straight folks don't often consider what it's like to be straight unless they go to a gay club.  That is the way of things.

There is no unified experience of living black in America. There are many blacks who live far from the communities of other black folk. There are blacks in projects and those who live in gated communities. Even those communities that are predominately black are varied.  Urban, rural, middle class, suburban. We live as minorities in white communities as diverse as Utah and Manhattan.  The black experience in New York and Chicago is different than the experience of being black in Atlanta or Seattle. Most of us do have some common and shared experiences. Most of us have experienced being treated differently because we are black. Hell, even Oprah was denied entrance into an exclusive shop long after she was famous because they only saw a black woman.  Derrick Bell told a story about having one  associate  try to block  entry into a  large law firm that bore the name of that lawyer...because that lawyer was black, the young associate wasn't, and didn't know him.He assumed that the black man was out of place.  He assumed that he was also trying to break in.  I hope he assumed himself out of a job.  Money and education, fame and celebrity don't act as buffers against  the long held and well tended gardens of injustice, apathy and racial hatred. Not yet.  You are going to have to step up to the plate on this one.

All black folk do not think alike.  Thank God.  All white folks don't think alike and again I thank God for this. Racist think alike and that is their weakness. They are predictable.  Their actions foreseeable.  Do not overlook the more subtle forms of racism.  They are all around you.

My experiences of having lived in every decade since the forties informs me in ways that are not common to younger black folk who arrived on this planet a couple decades back. My sons grew up in a different America than I did. This is as it should be.

We did our job.

We did our job so that black people would have the opportunity to vote.  This doesn't seem like such a big deal to generations who have never known anything different. There are bodies buried, black and white that made this possible. Some of those bodies were Jews.  Don't believe anyone who tells you that Jews are the enemies of blacks.  They have shown that they are not.  Don't believe that all whites are your enemy.  They too, have shown that they are not.   I learned as a a child that what you do speaks so loud I don't have to listen to what you say.

We didn't finish.  There is still so much to be done.  Young black men are still viewed as threats. Just because some  can afford the bling doesn't mean there is economic equity.  You will have to work to insure that your children have a better chance at life .  You will have to raise your voices and scream out loud for a while yet.  We have on paper equal justice under the laws of this country.  Our high rate of incarceration speaks of another reality, one that your generation must wage war against.

Young black women when they are visible, are often depicted in terms of their sexuality.  You are more than your body.   You are not bitches or 'ho's or anything near that.  You can do more and go further than any generation of black women before.   And a man is not a plan young sistahs. Sistah's been doin' it for themselves since the beginning of time.  If you want to dig for gold do it within your own souls. There are riches within you beyond imagination

Family is important.  Making the big money ought not estrange you from your children.  Take time when they are young to nurture them and teach them.  Support them in all ways, financially, emotionally, and spiritually. Do not break their spirits.  Do not allow others to break their spirits.  A broken spirit is the saddest of all the conditions of man.

I find it ironic that whites never have to take responsibility for the insane actions of other whites. Our identities as black people often are considered a reflection on other blacks. Interestingly enough if we don't fit the stereotype, we are told we are 'different'.  One day, I hope that this too will change as we begin to see people and not color.  We're not there yet.   Be wary of whites who approach you with 'you're different'. Believing you are different can lead to becoming Clarence Thomas.  This must be avoided at all cost.

Am I a feminist?  No.  I consider myself a womanist.  If you don't know the difference, read Alice Walker. In fact, read Alice Walker anyway.  And W.E.B. Du Bois.  Read John Hope Franklin .  Read Derrick Bell and Randall Robinson.   Read Amiri Baraka and James Baldwin.  Read as much and as often as you can. Read.  Learn.  Then live from your learning.

Step up and protect this planet.  This is one of the single most important things you can do. Environmental issues affect us all.

Find your voice and cry out against Darfur.  You are not your brother's keeper.  You are your brother.

What do I think about politics? Do I think black people should vote for Obama because he is a black man?  Yes and no.  Yes in that he is qualified, articulate and smart as hell. Yes in the way poor white people ought not to vote against their own self interest and for republicans. No in that the right to vote is sacred.  The right to vote was won with blood,sweat and tears.  Vote your conscience.  I got your back on this one.  No matter who you vote for.

Every vote is sacred.  Every vote counts.  Our ancestors were slaves.  Death was their only freedom. Now, you are able to raise your voice, vote your choice and file a lawsuit on anyone stupid enough to openly discriminate against you.  Just know that all discrimination is not openly so.

You may not win every battle.  This too, is the way of things.  The most important battle for you to win is the battle for self respect and dignity.  Hold your head up high.  Never hesitate to do what you know to be right.  Never allow losing a battle to cause you to stop fighting the war.  There are still dreams to dream and songs to sing and a world to save.  Reach for the dreams.  Sing the songs and change the world.

I guess it's time to pass the baton to you.  Back in the day when we marched, got jailed and threatened,spit on and hit with bottles and cans, we did so with the faint hope that America might someday find a place for black people to sit at the table.  Obama is sitting at the table.  Many of you are sitting at the table. I cannot tell you how proud I am of this. It's your turn now.  Let's see what you do with it.  I believe in you.

Originally posted to Robinswing on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 01:46 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  It is wonderful that Obama is part of one of the (13+ / 0-)

    best set of candidates the Democrats have to offer.  I choose another, but just Obama being in the mix reveals the work done by so many in the past.

    The JSamuel Irregular
    This is going to be an election, Tim, it's not going to be an auction. - JRE

    by jsamuel on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 01:52:00 PM PST

  •  Thanks. I needed that. (7+ / 0-)

    I'm 40+, but this is something we all need to hear from time to time.

    "I was way down for the revolution until I found out it was contingent upon corporate sponsorship." Me'shell Ndegeocello

    by DemInCville on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 01:52:03 PM PST

  •  nicely said (6+ / 0-)

    seems you've done right... you should be proud.

  •  A lovely diary. (10+ / 0-)

    Much to think about here. Thank you.

    Psst - put up a tip jar!

  •  At first i was puzzled (14+ / 0-)

    but after reading your essay twice i got excited .Excited because some of the things you said resonate deeply with me.

    I look at the younger Black kids today and wonder whether they appreciate what us older folks did or went through so they could be care-free enough to give me Christmas lists like those i just got that include a Wii , Prada,Hip-Hop , and tons of video games.

    I am known for my lectures about the past in my home , mostly followed by eye-rolling or "there he goes again" looks  yet i keep on because i know that even though they are in a middle class suburban lifestyle, i should remind them of the sacrifices their parents went through so they could live in a color -less life . Most of my families friends and neighbors are White and my brood would be shocked to hear a racist slur or action  in their protected life.

    But i remember.

    I remember kids being ordered out of the pool when my family arrived. I remember all the White kids leaving my school when we were admitted. My parents refused to let these challenges affect us even as they were saw how the racial tensions of the Sixties and early seventies divided everyone.

    We've come a long way and Barack Obama's run is so different from Jesse Jackson's run earlier. Now i know he has a shot even though who know's what will happen if he becomes a REAL contender. I still haven't made my choice between John Edwards and Obama but his race is not an issue either way and thats how far we've come .

    Kudo's on the essay!!

    •  I grew up in Chicago (10+ / 0-)

      I was born in TN.  Every year we went to visit the family.  I was grown before I realized that there was a point in the car trip where we had to pee on the side of the road instead of gas stations.  The point was the Mason-Dixon line.
      I also used to go to the movies every week and I didn't realize the first time I sat in the balcony in the south that this was reserved for blacks.  Used to sit there all the time at home.
      Yeah, this is a different world.  Thank God!

      The best way to predict the future is to invent it. Alan Kay

      by Robinswing on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 02:23:21 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  yes sir (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        NearlyNormal, Newzie, Robinswing

        I recently bought a country home in Virginia which is so much removed from my Philly suburbs existence.Now a sitting US Senator from Va lost his job for a "Macaca" moment. That M-D line is so old school as the kids today say.

        •  It's old school but our (8+ / 0-)

          kids need to know their history. Also, plenty of racism always existed in the North, too.

          "though we rush ahead to save our time- we are only what we feel" Neil Young- 1968

          by blindyone on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 02:40:00 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  When I started Kindergarten (5+ / 0-)

            there were two black faces on the school pictures.  By second grade there were only three faces that weren't black.
            Chicago remains one of the most segregated cities in America.  Down south though separated in school, whites and blacks often lived near each other.  Not so in many northern cities.

            The best way to predict the future is to invent it. Alan Kay

            by Robinswing on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 02:43:03 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Don't get me wrong (4+ / 0-)

            My family is well aware of the differences that our color makes in modern America but they have a sense of color-blindness that only my economic status can provide and thats good.

            •  But as a Black father, (6+ / 0-)

              I'm sure that you have prepared your kids. The police and other authority figures will see their Black skin. They can't wear a sign that says my Dad has a good job and I live in a nice neighborhood. I am not being sarcastic. You can be positive but you have to be realistic.  

              "though we rush ahead to save our time- we are only what we feel" Neil Young- 1968

              by blindyone on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 03:04:56 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Oh yes (6+ / 0-)

                I blogged about this exact situation on this blog and i hope i didn't create an impression of utopia at home, no  man my boy was arrested for standing outside a WAWA one night , and his puzzlement at the officers attitude that he was up to no good was a learning chance for him-And me.

                I told him about Oprah and the store, or his hero Eddie Murphy and the elevator. I just don't want to inhibit his "color-blind " attitude even as i warn him he is America's Most Feared Demographic.

                •  Yeah (4+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  blacklib, NearlyNormal, Newzie, blindyone

                  I raised three sons.  Had to teach them that no matter what they hear, they are not the boogey man.  Also had to teach them that there are folks out there who would like nothing better than arrest them, hurt them and make their lives miserable whether they actually did anything or not.  It's a thin line we walk when we raise our children.

                  The best way to predict the future is to invent it. Alan Kay

                  by Robinswing on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 03:27:07 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  We moved to a nice, safe (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  never forget 2000, Newzie, Robinswing

                  suburb that we couldn't really afford when my kids were  young. The demographics were about 65% "White", 30% Latino and the rest other. The Black pop was in the other somewhere-less than 2%. Because of the general affluence of the community (we were below average-money  wise) Black people were kind of like "honorary" Whites, the majority of working class people were Latino. I am setting this up to tell you that although it was nice and safe, and we had police that had so little to do that they had enough time to tell people that they left their garage doors open, the potential is always there for a misunderstanding.
                  Shortly after we moved there, my husband was stopped for exceeding the speed limit. He didn't think so but whatever. He is clean cut and middle aged- no problem. But what he told my son, especially, is that you have to believe that Black guys make police nervous. You have to be careful, quiet, make eye contact, follow directions. We didn't want a tragedy. We have relatives that live in LA and San Bernardino County where there have been really sketchy police shootings. Everything is always explained away. Everybody says sorry. The young Black kid is still dead.

                  "though we rush ahead to save our time- we are only what we feel" Neil Young- 1968

                  by blindyone on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 03:38:27 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

              •  Amen Amen Amen (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                blacklib, Robinswing, catchaz

                The "black experience" as opposed to "black culture" begins too early for me. And it is something few Whites will ever understand (those who have adopted black children, for example). When your sweet innocent 4 year old protests that he is brown (because he knows his colors) not black (because already he has perceived the negative connotation of "black" in our society. When you tell your teenager that despite what his White buddies get away with, he can not ape their behavior (cue Genalow wilson). That no matter how well educated, well groomed, well mannered he is, that he will always see that "look". Thanks for the diary.

    •  Best comment of the day as far as I am (7+ / 0-)

      concerned.  I grew up in Indiana in the 50's and 60's, fortunatly I was in a little Quaker town and my house was an old house that had been part of the Underground Railroad.  Even so it was quite a bad place, my first experience with it was going to see a Globetrotters game, I was about 8 or 9 and got up to go get a drink of water and got hit in the mouth for being a white kid.  Later, of course I got my eyes opened up and saw what was really going on.  I worked in a big GM factory that was very racially divided, and saw the scars it inflicted on all the participants, and those that wanted to stay neutral found they could not.

      In my early middle ages I had to work on a death penalty case that involved a black man who had killed at least three people and injured others, he had stabbed two women, including his pregnant sister-in-law and injured her severely.

      His crimes were many and violent.  And yet, this was a person who had been the 7th of 7 kids with all different fathers, he had been born with congenital syphllis and it had been left untreated, he had been passed around in his family and one brother wouldn't let him eat at the table with his family, and tied him in a sack and beat him when he was "bad".  At 12 he got in trouble and at 14 got sent to Indiana Reform School, and then to State Prison, to a terrible shithole of a prison that a hard-assed Federal judge later ordered torn down as a travesty.  What happened to this kid there is unspeakable; his crime-he stole a car.

      He was not treated for his mental condition and stayed in prison longer than necessary because there was no place for him to go.  He was finally paroled to live with an older brother-whose wife was pregnant.  Soon he had stabbed another woman and been sent to prison where he killed another person, spent more years in prison and was finally released and killed again-when my office got the case.

      I was on the third death penalty team, and it was horrible.

      My point in all this is that racism isn't just a matter of not getting this or that job, or getting into a particular school, or a "good" neighborhood-it is an evil that strikes at the bases of our lives, and destroyed this man's life and those he came into contact with as well.  The parole officer in Indiana that approved him being let out said in his last note "___ is leaving today, may God have Mercy on us all."

      I say, if you want killers loose amidst you, treat people like this-If you don't want the results don't set up the equation.

      I've always hated that they gave him the death penalty, but he could never be let out into the populaion, we had constructed a sociopathic killer.

      "I said, 'wait a minute, Chester, you know I'm a peaceful man.'" Robbie Robertson -8.13, -4.56

      by NearlyNormal on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 02:42:35 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I agree. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        NearlyNormal, catchaz

        It often begins with the so-called Juvenile Justice System which for too many is a gateway to federal prison.

        The best way to predict the future is to invent it. Alan Kay

        by Robinswing on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 02:52:44 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  That is why I work in the Juvenile Justice System (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          now.  We try our best to change the dynamics that so often lead to prison-I left the adult system because I was so tired of standing next to people that were being sent to prison for crimes I wouldn't send a dog to the pound for.  We have a good judge here, and try hard.

          "I said, 'wait a minute, Chester, you know I'm a peaceful man.'" Robbie Robertson -8.13, -4.56

          by NearlyNormal on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 02:55:39 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Glad to hear it. (5+ / 0-)

            The incarceration rate for young black males is totally out of proportion to our numbers.  This is where the next generation has to step in and do some of the heavy lifting.   Glad that you are doing some of that work.  We need all the help we can get.

            The best way to predict the future is to invent it. Alan Kay

            by Robinswing on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 02:58:53 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  In my county its the hispanics that are (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              being locked up way out of proportion.  My lobby today was totally hispanic, we needed two interpreters.

              "I said, 'wait a minute, Chester, you know I'm a peaceful man.'" Robbie Robertson -8.13, -4.56

              by NearlyNormal on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 03:01:36 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  We are also among the leaders in community (4+ / 0-)

              outreach instead of incarceration.  We have an organizaation locally called  A Hundred Black Men, and we have referred many young black kids there.  One of the common threads amongst the juvenile population across the races, is the lack of a male role model, this organization does some valuable work there.

              "I said, 'wait a minute, Chester, you know I'm a peaceful man.'" Robbie Robertson -8.13, -4.56

              by NearlyNormal on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 03:03:36 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Good on you. (4+ / 0-)

                It's hard to be a role model if you are in jail or dead and that is where a lot of young black men end up.

                There is also the generation of black men we lost in Viet Nam.  There was a time when they used to call the front line in Nam "Soulville".  Guess why???

                The best way to predict the future is to invent it. Alan Kay

                by Robinswing on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 03:07:51 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  I don't have to guess. I was born in the early (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  stringer bell, Robinswing, catchaz

                  50's.  I was in the Air Force, but the white kids that were at the front were the ones from the little towns and the unconnected.  My best friend's brother was killed there, two of my own friends were wounded physically, and many more still bear the psychological scars.  But out of the 52,00 dead there were a very high proportion of young black kids.  Not to mention the ones that got drummed out of the service with bad conduct discharges that fucked their lives up later for the same shit that might very well get a white kid just a reprimand.

                  "I said, 'wait a minute, Chester, you know I'm a peaceful man.'" Robbie Robertson -8.13, -4.56

                  by NearlyNormal on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 03:12:50 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  It was more the function of the Judge and (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  The community organization than it was me, if it wasn't for them I'd just be another bleeding heart liberal talking to blind and deaf justice.  I've got a good judge that is leaving at the end of the year to go work in civil court.  Who knows what will come next.

                  "I said, 'wait a minute, Chester, you know I'm a peaceful man.'" Robbie Robertson -8.13, -4.56

                  by NearlyNormal on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 03:32:57 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I hate the term (3+ / 0-)

                    Bleeding heart liberal only becase it doesn't allow for constructive dialogue.Are offenders given a break because of low or no prior offending status?

                    Of course they are and should. I submit that the high incarceration rates among young Black folk is also a function of the mandatory sentencing  pushed through by the '94 Republican Congress that took discretion out of the hands of Judges.

                    Drug offenses in this paradigm led to unreasonably lengthy sentencing and we are just now feeling the effects.60% of the incarcerated young Black males in the last few years were locked up because of drugs and the systems attitude towards crack as opposed to cocaine.

                    If crystal meth was treated the same way , White men would be incarcerated the same way.

                    •  Absolutely and the news on HRC's position (0+ / 0-)

                      on this issue would be enough to disqualify her as a progressive in my estimation.  Let alone the rest of her record.  Edwards and Obama seem to be operating from a more sensible understanding of the facts of the tragedy,  Course it could be that since Bill didn't veto the damn thing she feels some ownership of it, or was that jsut the good things in his terms?

                      "I said, 'wait a minute, Chester, you know I'm a peaceful man.'" Robbie Robertson -8.13, -4.56

                      by NearlyNormal on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 04:46:44 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

            •  As Blacks (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              NearlyNormal, smartdemmg

              we have to also admit that the crime rate that affects us is not always a function of societies racism or economic deficiencies.

              Here in Philly, we have a homicide rate that is astounding, and thats with a Black Mayor and police commissioner.

              I have no answers (Gun Control) but a bigger challenge is to teach younger Black people how precious each life is-Theirs and others. I wish the day will come when these predators would realize that they have damaged Black people more than any racist sheriff or cop.

              •  Not sure that they have damaged more (3+ / 0-)

                than racist cops and sheriffs.  Am sure that self-hatred, frustration and a system that has terribly low expectations contribute mightily.
                Also police departments apathy contributes greatly.  I have two friends who have lost children and even though the identities of the perps were known they have yet to be arrested...11 years later.

                The best way to predict the future is to invent it. Alan Kay

                by Robinswing on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 03:13:52 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  Attention and resources have to be (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                blindyone, Robinswing, catchaz

                brought to bear on the fundamental living conditions so that the kids see that there is a way out of the swamp.  Kids aren't stupid, but they do have to be led to see the long range advantage of an education-but the person leading them has to see that there truly is an advantage.  The thing about kids is they smell bullshit a mile away, they will take an ass-chewing if they believe you actually give a shit.

                "I said, 'wait a minute, Chester, you know I'm a peaceful man.'" Robbie Robertson -8.13, -4.56

                by NearlyNormal on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 03:18:15 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  One of the saddest outcomes of integration (5+ / 0-)

                  Is that a lot of the folks who used to serve as role models in black communities now live in suburban areas far removed from the black communities in inner cities.  There was a time when we all lived together so that your teacher might live on the same block as you.  On my block there were teachers, one judge, a policeman and folks who worked in factories.  This doesn't happen anymore.

                  It is good that black folks can live anywhere they want.  This has come with a price.

                  The best way to predict the future is to invent it. Alan Kay

                  by Robinswing on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 03:22:18 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I know what you mean (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Robinswing, catchaz

                    When I grew up I lived in a big farmhouse on the very edge of town.  Used to play with everyone from the bankers daughter, to the kids across the street (one of them was the guy killed in Nam) who slept three to a bed they were so crowded.  My kids live(ed) when they were young, in a middle class neighborhood until I got a little place just off the downtown.  I liked my childhood better in many ways, though it was ethnically "challenged".

                    "I said, 'wait a minute, Chester, you know I'm a peaceful man.'" Robbie Robertson -8.13, -4.56

                    by NearlyNormal on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 03:26:43 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

              •  People have to take responsibility (6+ / 0-)

                for their actions. I don't really think that Black people are always pointing fingers and explaining that society forced someone into a gang or forced someone to kill another person. But Whites in poverty situations are not always lawful and drug free either. If you have grinding poverty and a lot of young men with nothing to do, you are asking for trouble. That is true across cultures and across time. Then you put the overlay of racism with the benign neglect, at best, of all of the institutions of our society that all of us have to deal with and what do you expect?

                "though we rush ahead to save our time- we are only what we feel" Neil Young- 1968

                by blindyone on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 03:22:29 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  at the same time (4+ / 0-)

                  how do we explain the large incarceration rates among young Black men. I read today that in 2000 it was 0.6 % and in 2006 its close to 9.5%. Is the system more punitive or are our kids offending more?

                  These are the issues that i want Obama to address because he IS in the unique position of looking like the  MFD (most feared demographic).

                  First leader with a real answer gets my vote.

                  •  The system is more punitive. (5+ / 0-)

                    It has been amply documented.
                    Blacks are stopped while driving (an excuse to search cars or check for parole violations) out of proportion to their numbers in society. Blacks are arrested out of their proportion in society. Blacks are charged by prosecutors out of their proportion in society. Blacks are convicted out of their proportion in society. I don't think anyone is asking for exact quotas here-only justice.

                    As we know from the latest news about the Supreme Court, and the disparity in penalties for crack and powder cocaine, there has been a tilt towards imprisoning Blacks at a higher rate than White offenders. Polls for drug usage have not reflected a higher percentage among Blacks than Whites. Also, I was in "ghetto" areas on a regular basis during the crack hysteria. I doubt if it destroyed the community any more than meth is destroying rural areas right now. And I am not minimizing either of their terrible effects on individuals and their families.

                    "though we rush ahead to save our time- we are only what we feel" Neil Young- 1968

                    by blindyone on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 03:53:35 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  He said something about it yesterday in SC (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    never forget 2000, blindyone

                    I paraphrase but it was something like he didn't want to wake up four years from now and find out that there were more black men in prison than college.

                    The best way to predict the future is to invent it. Alan Kay

                    by Robinswing on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 05:02:37 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  Mine too (0+ / 0-)

                    If I had one (vote). Mos def about Obama also, his lack of leadership on Black men back in shackles and banned from the poll place( in record numbers ) was depressing for a minute, but I got over it.

                    He doesn't have to fight for me, just cause he's black like me. A MFD.

                    My man still has time, but only he can choose to become a leader and not a BAU politician.

                    I wish Cynthia McKinnly or Carol Mosley-Braun had threw in just to push him.

                    •  The thing is (0+ / 0-)

                      He does have the experience of being a black man in America. Nobody else can say that.  If he was BAU he wouldn't have a chance.  Best so far for BAU black folks is Congress.

                      The best way to predict the future is to invent it. Alan Kay

                      by Robinswing on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 06:45:25 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  His black experiance (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:

                        Is undeniable and irrevokable, I would vote
                        for him (hollow words and all) because of it{SSHHHH}} to me, A victory for him would be a transcending moment for us all.

                        But I don't feel as if he represents me or people in similar station. For us they all are BAU, until Bush is in supermax,my brother get some better PTSD medicine caused by 1st Iraq war,Cheney in supermax , and my nephew is home from a life sentence (yes, crack).

                        Oh I would love to hear someone at least mention getting us that vote back that so many died for.

                        I guess this is my list for santa. Maybe I'll get one or two this decade. Sorry.  

                        •  I understand. I hear you. (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:

                          There are a lot of things I want back as well.  We just have to keep fighting.  Keep speaking up.  Perhaps the events of today's Supreme Court decision will help your nephew.  I pray so.

                          The best way to predict the future is to invent it. Alan Kay

                          by Robinswing on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 07:52:11 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

              •  One of my closest friends lives there in Phila (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                In West Philly to be exact and I literally worry about his safety at times. The crime wave there is just stunning and neither of us understand what is driving this more than other big cities. Agreed that they are literally destroying the black community and the fabric of the black family.

  •  A Lot of Good Thoughts (5+ / 0-)

    for people of any color. Highly recommended!

    Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love. - Lao Tzu

    by FLDemJax on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 02:22:11 PM PST

  •  Very nice diary. (6+ / 0-)

    I like your reflections of hope which is optimistic balanced with experience which can be a bit skeptical. There is a lot of cross cultural bashing going on in some of these candidate diaries but also a lot of generational bashing. Young people need to believe that not only do we want a progressive Democrat to be elected but we also don't want to see a lot of mistakes repeated. We don't want you to be burdened by our history as older people. We want you to learn from it so you can build on it.

    "though we rush ahead to save our time- we are only what we feel" Neil Young- 1968

    by blindyone on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 02:24:18 PM PST

  •  beautiful (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    samddobermann, Robinswing

    as a white man who believes fully in womanist principles, the only thing i'll say is that it is about damn time that all white people (and white men especially) did take some responsibility for the insane actions of many whites.

    the time to rise has been engaged...

    by catchaz on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 02:25:39 PM PST

  •  Just to have White men acknowledge (7+ / 0-)

    that their skin and gender privilege them from the beginning would be refreshing. They are the most powerful group in society and could effect real change if they could view reality once in awhile though others' eyes. Maybe then we could put an end to all of these "bootstrap" lectures. Sorry, I don't want to hijack your discussion but based on much past experience here on DK, I'm expecting that to pop up any minute now.

    "though we rush ahead to save our time- we are only what we feel" Neil Young- 1968

    by blindyone on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 02:37:12 PM PST

  •  I've gotta clear out of here now, thanks (3+ / 0-)

    for a fine diary and an interesting conversation.


    "I said, 'wait a minute, Chester, you know I'm a peaceful man.'" Robbie Robertson -8.13, -4.56

    by NearlyNormal on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 03:36:00 PM PST

  •  Great diary and discussion... (0+ / 0-)

    thanks for it!

    I'm a hopemonger.

    by Elise on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 04:09:58 PM PST

  •  real straight talk (5+ / 0-)

    the abilty to engage in straight talk is IMO one of the most important characteristics of a person or of a people. one of the things that most angers me is that white people so often claim that people of color only talk about racism, when in reality conversations like the one this diarest started are the norm, not the exception. they do a hell of alot better job of addressing and taking responsibilty for problems than "my people" do, even when the problems are caused by white people.

    we at DKos are lucky that people like Robinswing bring some of those conversations here. we could learn alot by reading or listening to them, and do a lot of good by emulating them in our own communities, wherever they may be.

    the time to rise has been engaged...

    by catchaz on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 04:24:23 PM PST

  •  Once again I'm late to the party. (0+ / 0-)

    But I just want to say thank you for writing this thoughtful diary, Robinswing.

  •  I Missed this Diary (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    When it was posted on Monday.  I found it only through a series of links.

    Thank you, sister.  Thank you.

    (From one womanist to another - although I was born in the 60's, not the 40's.)

  •  until (more) white people consider racism (0+ / 0-)

    their problem; one which hurts them we won't make a hell of a lot more progress.

    Most here on DKos are sympathetic, even empathetic to the effects of racism on blacks.  But not enough see the deleterious effects on whites. And until they do, not enough progress will be made.

    Do NOT donate to the DSCC or the DCCC, think Lieberman & BlueDogs. Support DNC and progressive candidates directly!

    by samddobermann on Sat Dec 15, 2007 at 01:26:27 AM PST

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